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378                   HISTORY OF PERSIA                  CHAP>
but the moment they surrendered he handed them over to
the executioner.
Sadik Khan, who evacuated Basra upon hearing of the
death of his brother, was prepared to fight for the throne ;
but when Zaki gave out that he would kill the families of
Sadik's adherents in Shiraz his army deserted him, and he
fled to the fort of Bam in the Kerman province.
Zaki Khan, freed from internal troubles, sent All
Murad with a picked force to operate against the Kajar
Pretender Aga Mohamed, who was destined to found a
dynasty ; but the young Prince, disgusted with Zaki, per-
suaded his troops to rebel and seized Isfahan in the name
of Karim Khan's heir. Zaki Khan immediately collected
a force and marched on Isfahan. At the picturesque village
of Yazdikhast he claimed from the inhabitants a sum of
money which they were charged with having hidden ; and
upon their denying all knowledge of the matter he
sentenced eighteen of the leading villagers to be thrown
down the precipice on which the fort stands. He then
sent for a Sayyid^ or descendant of the Prophet, whom he
charged with being concerned in the same matter, and
although he protested his innocence he in turn was stabbed
and thrown over the precipice, while his wife and daughter
were given over to the tender mercies of the soldiers. That
night Zaki Khan was assassinated by his own officers.
Abul Fatteh^ Ali Murad, and Sadik.—Abul Fatteh, a
weak and unambitious youth, was now placed on the throne,
but his uncle Sadik, returning from Bam, conspired against
him and blinded him. Ali Murad, who had appeared
again on the scene, fought at first in the interests of Abul
Fatteh, but subsequently avowed himself a claimant for the
throne., A force under Sadik Khan's son, Ali Naki, de-
feated and dispersed the army of Ali Murad ; whereupon
the young Prince, intoxicated with this easy success, wasted
his time in the palaces of Isfahan while Ali Murad was
collecting a formidable army. In a second battle, fought
near Hamadan, Ali Murad gained a complete victory ; he
then marched on Shiraz, which he blockaded for eight
months and took in A.H. 1195 (1781). Upon its capture
Sadik Khan was put to death, together with all his sons